On the way back to Laoag, we reached Vigan in sync for dinner. Cafe Leona was full I think (too tired, I slept my ass off), so they tried Grandpa’s Inn’s Kusina Felicitas, another popular resto down Sur.
I got Abra candied karmay and pias (kamias) from the pasalubong counter behind me. Unfortunately, the Carmelite nuns of Laoag stopped making those mouthwatering sweet-sour-and-salty dried fruits of my childhood. The first time I saw the hubby pop any of the strange stuff I love… haven’t even seen him touch those Chinese preserved fruits at Bee Tin? He liked the karmay, btw (good to know his food taste is moving to new directions).
The dinengdeng, bagoong rice, poqui-poqui, grilled capiz and chicken karimbuaya arrive. The rice looks like it was inspired by the Thai salted fish fried rice. Kusina Felicitas’ version is a mix of greens (kangkong I suppose), bagoong alamang, pork tocino and salted egg bits… layers upon layers of saliva-inducing flavors that get the brain into normal mode — ideal with the very Ilocano dinengdeng!
Such a waste, the capiz shellfish were not fresh like we expected. Kusina Felicitas redeems itself with the chicken karimbuaya. Curious, I forked one teeny-weeny piece. I’ve never tasted such a thing before, provocative! I ended up eating more (luckily, my immune system was abnormally okay). My initial encounter with karimbuaya (just came to know it is a kind of thorny euphorbia plant that is perfect for grilled meats including lechon). Sweetish, full-bodied, with a pleasant slight tinge of tangy-bitter taste.
Capped the meal with Vigan peanut pralines, more popularly known as turones de mani.
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